Monday, March 31, 2008

Mad Fold-Ins

If you were young at any time in the last 44 years, you know the fold-in: the feature on the inside of Mad’s back cover that poses a question whose answer is found by folding the page in thirds. September 1978: “What colorful fantastic creature is still being exploited even after it has wiggled and died?” A picture of a garish butterfly, folded, becomes an equally garish Elvis.

The fold-ins these days are as full of youth culture as ever. (March 2008: “What major star has recently admitted receiving illegal career-damaging human growth injections?” And a picture that looks as if it’s going to be Roger Clemens folds to become Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant.) So the first thing that strikes you when Mr. Jaffee greets you at the door of his studio on the East Side of Manhattan is his age. This man, still credibly negotiating the milieu of teenagers, is 87.

“I work for a magazine that’s essentially for young people, and to have them keep me going, I feel very lucky,” Mr. Jaffee said. “To use an old cliché, I’m like an old racehorse. When the other horses are running, I want to run too.”

Check out some of the classic Mad Fold-Ins!

Read the rest of Neil Genzlinger's story on Mr. Jaffee over at the New York Times: A Veteran MAD Man Remains in the Fold.

Thanks Mr. Jaffee!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spine Lamp

You've gotta know somebody that would appreciate getting this very cool Spine Lamp by Mark Beam as a gift.

I'll take mine in bone white.

That's Right,

Thanks to the smart folks over at: Design Milk.


Very nice. I think one of the coolest things about the ABC3D book is that you can get you very own copy over here!.

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Thanks to my buddy Todd Morey over at: Mosso.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Smart Serving Platter

Allright, let's see... double espresso crema, Miguel si?

Dig this smart, waiteresque serving platter that lets you scribble orders or names directly on to the tray with chalk. Very nice.

Check out the German made Notes Tray exclusively at Koziol.

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Gracias: Josh Spear.

Corporate Logo Quiz

Ok, have you had your coffee yet? Good. Now see if you can you distinguish the real deal from the fake. I got 18 out of 20, missing the first one. Take 5 minutes and check out this fun little: Corporate Logo Quiz.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

OOgmerk Opticians

Tag: Get the respect you deserve.

Good stuff from Christophe Ghewy and Paul Wauters at LG&F, Brussels for OOgmerk Obticians.

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Thanks to: AdverBox.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Nice signage! If you're like me, and you simply can't get enough of the genius ingenuity of custom, one of a kind signs like this giant KVMC microphone from Colorado City, Texas, then you'll really dig Debra Jane's huge and ever growning flickr set: Roadside Signs & Archetecture.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Dazy!

Happy Easter y'all. It also happens to be the birthday of our Dazy - she's 2 years old today. Here she is taking a break during our walk this morning. And yup, that's Dazy's big brother Ringo in the background.

Not a bad shot for an iphone camera....

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Mobile Computing

April Fools Day came early as the New York based troupe Improv Everywhere entered a Starbucks one by one bringing their own gigantic computer, monitor and keyboard. After buying coffee they parked and worked at their computers as if they were just part of the normal laptop crowd.


As usual, their mission is well documented - check it out: Mobile Desktop.

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Thanks to smart monkeys over at Guerrilla Inovation.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Feel Better Already!

Version 2.0 of the iPhone's firmware, due this June, could turn the device into an indispensable medical tool if hospitals OK its medical use.

The arrival this June of an enterprise-friendly iPhone is exciting to more than just business users. Doctors, too, are eyeing Apple's handheld and wondering if it could kill off the old-fashioned clipboard and X-ray light box once and for all.

"If you could use the gesture-based way of manipulating images on the iPhone and actually manipulate a stack of X-rays or CT scans, that would be a huge selling point," says Adam Flanders, director of informatics at Thomas Jefferson University and an expert in medical imaging.

Read the rest of Bryan Gardiner's article over at Wired.

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Photo illustration: Jonathan Snyder/

A Better Web Site 101

The smart folks over at Inside CRM have a nice post of quick tweaks will help you keep visitors engaged.

Here's a handful of some of my favorite tips from the article: 101 Five-Minute Fixes to Incrementally Improve Your Web Site.

Content, specifically text, is perhaps your site's most important asset. Make sure that it's up to snuff by following these improvements.

#5 Make headlines meaningful. Be sure to change any vague or cutesy headlines to something more up-front and meaningful.

#10 Stay simple. Simplify your message simply to avoid confusing visitors, while at the same time improving conversion rates.

#18 Be concise. Make sure that your copy is only as long as it needs to be to get your point across reasonably.

If your site isn't usable, visitors will not stick around. Take these small steps, and you'll have a more user-friendly site that's ripe for conversions.

#21 Make navigation consistent. Make sure that your site's navigation is on the same place on each page so that visitors don't get confused.

#24 Never ask for more information than you need. If you're currently asking for excessive information, rethink your data-mining tendencies. When you get greedy for data, you'll turn off some visitors.

#27 Link the site logo to the home page. Visitors will expect your logo to link to the home page, so make it easy for them to find it.

Search Engine Optimization
Follow these tips if you'd like to see an improvement on your search-engine rankings.

#35 Replace underscores with hyphens. In search-engine results, words separated by underscores will run together, while hypens will create a space between each word.

#39 Update content often. Give search engines a reason to keep coming back with fresh content.

#44 Turn off music. No one wants music to greet them every time they click a link, so turn off the music — or at least offer an easy option for disabling it.

#51 Avoid resizing the user's window. Let the user be in control of their browser, or your site will lose credibility.

Spruce up your site's appearance using these design fixes.

#74 Reduce choices. Avoid overwhelming your visitor with lots of different options.

#77 Stay consistent. Check to make sure that colors and design are in the same general scheme so that visitors know they're still on your site.

#86 Limit each page to one topic. Give each page a singular purpose to avoid confusing visitors.

#92 Convert PDF files to HTML. Make browsing flow a little smoother by converting PDF files to a format that's more easily readable in a browser.

Great stuff, thanks guys!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Peace Symbol Turns 50

It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised.

It had its first public outing 50 years ago on a chilly Good Friday as thousands of British anti-nuclear campaigners set off from London's Trafalgar Square on a 50-mile march to the weapons factory at Aldermaston.

The demonstration had been organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) joined in.

Read the rest of Kathryn Westcott's BBC News article World's best-known protest symbol turns 50.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Although caricatures won’t sway an election, they can influence public perception. Through caricatured distortion President Lyndon Johnson, with his elephantine ears and hooked beak, and President Richard Nixon, with his exaggerated five o’clock shadow and witches peak, were made equally buffoonish and demonic.

The visual satirist’s time-honored role is to make mountains out of physical molehills, thereby reducing their targets to comical icons, knocking the pomposity right out of them.

Read the rest from Steve Heller's NYT article Drawing the Candidates.

Satchmobama by Rick Meyerowitz.

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Safety First

Now this is brilliant!

Thanks to the smart folks over at SparkFun, designer Leah Buechley used LED’s and her self-developed wearable e-textile technology known as: LilyPad Arduino to create the this sweet biking jacket complete with controls located on the wrist.

Each LilyPad was creatively designed to have large connecting pads to allow them to be sewn into clothing. Various input, output, power, and sensor boards are available. They're even washable!


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Thanks again to Swiss Miss.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SXSW Cheat Notes

So, are you feeling left out, a little uninformed or perhaps maybe even downright lame simply because you supposedly missed all the fun at this years SXSW Interactive 2008?

Not to worry! Thanks to Mike Rohde you can still soak up some really good stuff to think about via his bitchin', old school sketchnotes he captured while at the Austin Convention Center.

Between hangin' in Austin this week and reading these notes I almost fell like I'm back up at Mass Art, feeling young, happy, optimistic (and just a little hungover)!

Thanks Mike! Do yourself a favor and go read all 34 pages over at his smart blog: ROH Design.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thumbs Up SXSW!

Sweeet! I got the official SXSW thumbs up yesterday afternoon from Mr. Andre Williams at the 14th Annual Bloodshot Records showcase at Yard Dog. Sir Andre's a regular and a favorite on my HMK Mystery Streams, always adding the perfect dose of funky soul to the mix.

If you're not familiar with the genius of "Mr. Rhythm" check out this 1966 single Sweet Little Pussycat and dig what you've been missing. Meow!

Thanks again to all the cool folks at Yard Dog, Bloodshot Records and Shiner for the cool schwag, burgers and beer, my good buddy Shane Whitefield for the awesome crash pad - and especially my young one, attending her first SXSW just a few short days before her 14th birthday, Brette Moss Grieder, for taking this cool shot of me and Andre!

See y'all next year!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Magno Wooden Radios

These are currently on backorder and there's a waiting list but man, these are soooo sweet looking!

Singgih Kartono chooses wood for his radios not just based on aesthetics but on his appreciation of wood's simplicity and organic vitality. The Magno radio combines the most current mp3 player compatible electronics with sustainably grown woods.

Much as I dig the visible tuning mechanism, I think I'm gonna go for the small one with all the nice little holes...

See for yourself: Magno Wooden Radios.

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Thanks to Swiss Miss

Rossingnol Rebrand

It's really nice to see a refreshing back to basics logo redesign. I for one totally love the big, classic script R. Very Nice!

I'm really digging the simplistic and easy to read 2 color design, sans all the trendy gradients, shadows and bevels. Not really sure about the tag line though, seems long.

This is from the Rossignol press release:

"Embracing the power and familiarity of the classic "R" (born in 1965), the new logo presents a strong, simple message: "This is made by Rossignol." We want to emphasize that Rossignol's products are made by people committed to perfection, and who have a deep understanding of the mountain lifestyle and environment. The "R" represents a unification of purpose, of direction and of reason."

As an old school skier I must say that I'm kinda missing the rooster though...

There's more good stuff in regard to logos and rebranding from the smart folks at Under Consideration over at their Brand New section.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SXSW 1939

The World's Fair 1939
That's Right, who's jealous now?

By now I'm sure you've had at least one person you know has either twittered/facebooked or sent you their list of what they'll be doing while they're in Austin for South By So What.

Well, while everyone else is at SXSW this year I've decided to go back in time about 70 years and check out the 1939 World's Fair in New York instead.

Here's where you can find me, click to enlarge my list above...

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Thanks to the July 8, 1939 issue of the New Yorker for the list.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Longchamp Store NYC Stairs

I'm really digging the flow of these amazingly cool stairs designed by Heatherwick Studio for the Longchamp Store in New York City.

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Thanks to the keen-eyed folks over at The Contemporist.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Blackberry = 8 Track Tape

Ok, it's official. The future is finally here.

Wow. I'm touched. Just 32 weeks old, and the iPhone is already smarter than Yoda. By this time next year, if not sooner, your Brickberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian or Palm is going to appear as archaic as a Walkman.

According to the New York Times, the iPhone's already the second most popular smartphone after the BlackBerry, with a 28 percent share of the market, but its inability to communicate with corporate computer systems running Microsoft Exchange has hindered its growth in that market.

That all changed yesterday afternoon at Town Hall in Appleland when Steve Jobs and team quietly, sans fanfare and without much hype at all, truly did it again and seriously changed everything! Forget what you know about the business and consumer markets in regard to all things mobile and beyond - go witness the next and probably the most important step in Apple's mobile domination. Apple March 6th Event.

Sure, it's over an hour long, kinda geeky and boring, but in a good way and man, it is soooo worth it!

Watch it, wonder and ponder. Then start thinking about making your own apps! Simply amazing.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

2008 KSYM Pledge Drive Shirts

Click To Enlarge.
That's Right. KSYM 90.1 FM. Your Only Alternative. Dial Low. Volume High! Check out the couple of shirts I just finished for this years KSYM Pledge Drive.

And celebrating the 11th Year of The Casbah, Sir Brian Parrish's Saturday night sonic wall of sound, or as it says on the shirt - The Eleven Year Happy Hour... Make It Louder!

Support College Radio! KSYM

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The Designer/Client Relationship

A Clients Guide, wishful thinking? Perhaps. But, perhaps a consideration.

The digital world has vastly improved the speed of design. Proofs can be sent electronically and a great amount of design can be accomplished on computer in a much shorter amount of time than ever before.

However, technology has not made the design process simpler. Designers still need time to work with your company to decide the best way to represent it to the consumer.

Deadlines and project scope must be realistic and flexible enough to deal with the unexpected. Remember that you are buying a public face to your business, and value it accordingly.

Remember that your designer is a professional collaborator and not an employee, and brings a set of skills to your company that is geared towards expanding your business.

When you hire a designer, make sure that you make them part of your business day. Keep in touch at a frequency acceptable to both of you, and the design process will flow smoothly in both directions.

Designers, like all business contacts, appreciate returned messages, even if it is only an acknowledgment of receipt.

Spend an extra hour with your designer at the beginning to outline your needs and interests, and you will save hours of time down the road in regards to deadlines and project scope. Taking the time to deliver a sufficiently in-depth project brief ultimately serves as a cost-saving device for both parties.

A qualified designer is trained to analyze your professional needs and, with your input and guidance, craft visual expressions of your business. The client should understand that this skill goes beyond the personal aesthetic and often deals with the psychology of branding and public perception, and is as individual to your company as a fingerprint.

A designer’s suggestions and recommendations on the project are not simply what clients or designers find appealing or pleasing. Good quality design is engineered to appeal to your customer. Be fair in your criticism. Ask questions instead of making statements. If something does not work, explain your misgivings fully instead of simply.

Remember that your designer is a professional collaborator and not an employee, and brings a set of skills to your company that is geared towards expanding your business.

In addition, the concepts and ideas generated together represent a contractual agreement of confidentiality/exclusivity between the designer and client. Just as the Designer will not divulge your business operations, you and your staff are obligated to do the same for our business.

This is an excerpt from Business Of Design Online featuring Catherine Morley's A Client’s Guide to Professional Conduct in the Design Industry.

To me it all boils down to one thing: Respect.

Great read, pass it on.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nice Touch!

Bitchin' funny stuff from my buds Tony and Chris, the mysteriously clever dudes at ChannelEleventeen.

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Vegas Is For Wussies

Cool stuff from agency KesselsKramer, Amsterdam for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel.

I vaguely remember staying at the Hans Brinker Hotel back in 1997 on a trip with my art school bud Mike Mackenzie. My brother Terry was living in Holland at the time and we were having trouble getting in touch with him after arriving via the train from Paris. We got in late, it was raining and we just wanted a safe clean place to crash until we found a nicer place the next day and hooked up with my brother.

The funniest part of the trip was standing in the freezing November downpour talking into a speaker at the gates of the American Embassy looking for info on my brother, stationed at Soesterberg Air Base, which was in the process of closing at the time... Amatures!

You really can't get more Dutch than Hans Brinker!

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Gracias to The Hidden Persuader.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors

Awesome read!

The next time you’re juggling options — which friend to see, which house to buy, which career to pursue — try asking yourself this question: What would Xiang Yu do?

I finally got around to reading this with my first cup this morning. Do yourself a favor and take the 3 minutes to read this: The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors.

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Store The Impossible

You're gonna have to click on these to appreciate the detail in both execution as well as humor - the expressions on the faces are perfect. Nice stuff from Agency: Promoseven, Dubai, UAE, Creative Directo & Copywriter: Ali Ali, Art Director: George Azmy, Illustrator/3D: Furia, Photographer: Jaime Mandelbaum.

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Gracias Freddy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

P is for Paula

New York’s first public pay toilet finally opened last month in Madison Square Park. The exterior sports a poster designed by Paula Scher, featuring the identity she developed for the park.

The toilet is self-cleaning and costs a quarter to use, and is conveniently located just across the park from the Pentagram office.

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Thanks to the smart at Pentagram.